She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in theatre arts education and in 1991 with a master's degree in theatre and media arts. She married Dennis Carl Riggs in the Salt Lake Temple on June 10, 1970. She has directed hundreds of plays in her career and was a teacher at Orem High School for over fifteen years.
Riggs passed away on June 18, 2005, at the age of sixty. The Syd Riggs Scholarship was created by one of her students, Ben Tichy, after her sudden death. In 2011, more than 100 of Utah's top performers gathered and performed in a benefit concert in memory of Syd Riggs.
- The Universe - Performers honor the legacy of BYU alum and support arts education (1 Feb 2013)
- The Deseret News - Annual 'Why We Tell the Story' concert offers scholarships to students (26 Jan 2013)
- The Deseret News - Foundation holds annual concert in memory of favorite arts teacher (26 Jan 2012)
- The Daily Universe - Benefit concert to honor influential Utah director (20 January 2011)
- The Daily Universe - Hale Center director dies (21 June 2005)
- The Daily Herald - Sydney Ann Samuelson Riggs (21 June 2005)